While we were trying to figure out what page1 story to take for this year’s first edition, we didn’t really expect something as inspiring and paramount as this would stem out where we celebrate a proud outset of 2019 for Bahrain by the news of 14year old Bahraini ‘Juwan Abdul Khaleq’ becoming the youngest Bahraini girl to reach Mountain Kilimanjaro.
A story of inspiration and adherence, the unprecedented feat comes from Juwan’s complete dedication and commitment to inspiring girls everywhere to make things happen. Early in 2018, Juwan had nothing to do with trekking and mountain climbing, but she developed a passion for them when she was exposed to the narrations and anecdotes shared by the Bahraini young women who went to the Kilimanjaro in 2017. She showed enthusiasm and relentless passion to join and become part of the stories. An adventurer with the spirit to explore, Juwan became the youngest Bahraini girl to reach Everest Base Camp last year in April.
This year, she was committed and headstrong on her vision to summit the highest mountain in Africa, which is about 4900 metres from its base, and 5895 metres above sea level.Rasha Yousuf, a Bahraini adventure blogger and photographer, who accompanied her on the Everest base camp climb and is a mentor to Juwan, shared how proud she was of the young girl’s achievement in reaching the fourth highest mountain in the world. “I couldn’t be prouder of Juwan, our national hero and role model to all kids and adults. She was inspired to start this journey after hearing our stories of climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in 2017. Her perseverance is inspiring to us all.”
Proud of the 'youngest summiter'
Despite her young age, she proved fully committed to the strenuous exercises that preceded the adventure without losing focus on her school work. This included early 5am jogs and training for muscle formation aside from taking up formidable challenges to strengthen her mental endurance. She received tremendous encouragement from her school, classmates and friends, but her biggest support system is her mother. During her preparations, her mother 'Marwa Sharif' who was with her at every step of the training process. Speaking to Weekender, the proud mom who awaits her daughter’s return this weekend, said: “She is very mature for her age, and was inspired by Rasha to take up this major expedition. I, not for once, doubted my daughter’s ability to conquer that peak and while as a parent I get anxious, I am all the proud of her incredible spirit as she ensured the white and red banner of Bahrain soared high above the clouds.”